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News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Hubie Halloween is a sorry excuse for a film, but don't expect an apology

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 12th October 2020

    It was cruel, really - to give us a glimpse of an oft-quoted character from Adam Sandler's greatest creation, Happy Gilmore, and then to undo any hint a comedy of that calibre would be in store mere seconds later when the funny voices and scat humour kicked in. And this is a film obsessed with scat: farts, poo, piss, it's got it all. Which is apt, because I've never seen anything go to shit as quickly as Hubie Halloween.

  • Review: Tenet once again shows that Christopher Nolan is ahead of his time

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 31st August 2020

    In case anyone still hasn’t realised it yet, Christopher Nolan loves time. He loves it soooo much. He wants to marry time and have sweet little pocket-watch babies. He wants to go to prison so that he can ’do’ time. Because if he’s not telling an entire film in reverse chronological order like in Memento, or revealing multiple flashbacks within flashbacks like in The Prestige, he’s creating a story in which three separate narratives that run over distinctly different time periods all unfold simultaneously, like in Inception and Dunkirk. Time is Christopher Nolan’s life, and he is having the best of it. Which is why Tenet can easily be seen as the most Christopher Nolan film that Christopher Nolan has made so far - it brings this particular favourite theme of his into sharp focus. Frankly, It’s about time.

  • Review: Project Power hits the right beats but offers nothing new

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 26th August 2020

    Netflix is an odd one isn't it. In order to operate they need to attract a certain amount of subscribers, so cast a wide net of shiny mid-budget fare with no pretension the films don't exist to reel in the dollars. It's pure returns-driven broad entertainment, designed to appeal to as many people as possible but that leaves little cultural footprint. Other studios do this, of course - it is a movie industry after all - but the frequency of ho hum numbers generated by Netflix does nothing for their reputation as a production line serving up gruel, and the next announcement always comes with a twinge of doubt. Anyway I just watched this new Netflix film called Project Power.

  • Review: Host is a techno-horror that dials up the scares

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 19th August 2020

    31st October 1992. I am 11 years old and about to become part of a very special club: children who were accidentally allowed to stay up late for BBC's Ghostwatch. For the uninitiated; Ghostwatch was billed as a fun live spook hunt from a haunted council house, which spiralled out of control as the pipe-clanging spirit of a disfigured paedophile assaulted Saturday morning kids TV hosts Sarah Greene and Craig Charles, apparently killing a number of the crew, before beaming itself into a television studio and possessing the UK's common sense uncle, Michael Parkinson. It was terrifying. The ensuing furore in schools and media ensured the broadcast was shelved for years. But the damage was done, scars were formed - and the next Ghostwatch has been sought out ever since.

  • Review: Bait is tighter than a duck's arse

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 24th February 2020

    My partner made me turn Bait off after two minutes because she said it was "pretentious," so we watched Ru Paul's Drag Race instead. My idiot friends spent an hour trying to come up with wanking jokes in our WhatsApp group because Mark Kermode said the film was a "masterpiece" (master + bait + combined mental age of 12), with predictably disappointing results. But like my mum said when I came home from riding my bike one day and she told me the Under 9s coach had rung to say the rules had changed and teams only fielded ten players now so I shouldn't show up for practice anymore: "It's their loss, Luke, you're brilliant at football."

  • Review: Uncut Gems is an anxiety attack in film form

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 7th February 2020

    What's the worst lie you've ever told? Let me rephrase that: what's the worst lie you've ever told and got away with? Congratulations! From the synapses snapping away to bring your consciousness to life, to the cells in the blood pumped around your veins, to the atoms in your DNA, and all the stardust delivered on a rock from a galaxy far, far away embedded in your primeval history, that deception is now a part of what makes you uniquely you. So was it worth it?

  • Review: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is good, but conflicted

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 19th December 2019

    There’s no denying that Star Wars: The Last Jedi created a massive disturbance in the force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in entitled outrage and were suddenly empowered to act like total asshats on Twitter. All Rian Johnson really did was evolve his film beyond the tropes, cliches and traditions that have become the hallmarks of every episode in the saga until that point. Bury the past - or literally burn it down - and move on. Forget the old and make way for the new, otherwise how can there be any progress? After all, "we are," muses Yoda, "what they grow beyond". But if that proved a divisive move, then what JJ Abrams does with this final instalment is equally controversial: ignore that new approach entirely and return to the safe familiarity of the old template. There’s important plot development, of course, but it is housed within a return to the brand adherence and fan service that The Force Awakens originally offered. Skywalker rises, but Episode 9 of 9 simply stays on target.

  • Review: Hurricane is cheap as chips but rises above to tell a stirring tale

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 25th September 2019

    "Chaos with Ed Miliband or stability with me" David Cameron declared in 2015, before quitting and plunging the country into a turmoil the two Prime Ministers since have managed to somehow make worse. But despite austerity measures and fox hunting and all the other cartoonishly cruel Tory pursuits, nothing compares to the completely avoidable damage leaving the European Union is going to wreak. Food and medicine supplies interrupted; regions of industry due to be decimated; the Pound Sterling crippled - all because of vain grabs for glory by power-hungry millionaires who got lucky that enough people on Facebook could be convinced the Romanian brickie down the street was the root cause of all their problems, and not the hereditary bankers with secret offshore accounts waiting to stiff their fellow countryfolk. But the harm is done, and we can never go back to a time when Sunday dinner wasn't a simmering saucepan of gritted teeth pleasantries, ready to boil over as you ask your freshly emboldened racist aunt to please pass the bloody swede. Well I wish we could find a way to project Hurricane onto the White Cliffs of Dover and force all the gullible idiots who voted for Brexit to watch it, not least because to do so they'd have to GET IN THE FUCKING SEA.

  • Review: Shaft (2019) is... what the hell did I just watch?

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 9th July 2019

    The danger with judging films based on what you want rather than what you get is you'll forever be on the lookout for things that don't agree with your blinkered view of the world. It's a slippery slope; one minute you'll be tapping furiously into Twitter trying to get Piers Morgan's attention, the next setting up a change.org petition with the vitriolic entitlement of a superhero movie manbaby. That said, they've somehow made a new Shaft film with the exact same comic inclination as an Adam Sandler movie, and while I'm happy the baddest badass motherfucker in town is back, I've never forced myself to sit through something so much in my entire life.

  • Review: Wine Country is a waste of a great ensemble cast

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 17th June 2019

    One thing that fascinates me about film-making is not the how of how movies are made, but the when. We see stars grow in real time these days and very often, once their careers have developed enough, they become producers - meaning the shows and films we watch follow their whims. That explains why we get a glut of movies about having babies, followed by a wave of thirties singleton rom-coms, and these subjects mould the wider zeitgeist. And now we're entering what should be the most interesting phase, where all your favourite stars are burnt out and holding grudges: the mid-life crisis. Fight! Fight! Fight!